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Adobe's transition to HTML5 may force Microsoft to expedite its own plans

Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) shocked the world when it announced that it would be terminating its development of Mobile Flash in order to focus its efforts on HTML5 solutions, like developer tools.  While Adobe still remains very committed to Flash on the PC -- officially at least -- the move signals a shift at the top internet multimedia firm from a proprietary standard to a standard that is at least partially open (the degree of openness depends largely on the codecs for video and audio selected in the particular flavor of HTML5).

In the wake of that announcement, reports are coming in that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) may be preparing to terminate development on its Silverlight rich multimedia platform to focus on its own HTML5 efforts.

For those unfamiliar, Silverlight is basically a would-be Flash.  Launched in 2007, the platform grew to incorporate developer tools, plugins, and support for advanced features like streaming content.  While the platform has seen modest success, it's never caught on to the extent of Flash.

Silverlight 5, the latest version of the platform, is due to land sometime this month.  But it's unclear whether any browsers outside of Microsoft Internet Explorer -- still the most used browser in the world -- will be supported.  And its equally unclear if Silverlight 6 will ever see the light of day.

While Microsoft initially pushed hard to incorporate the platform onto its diverse plethora of consumer electronics -- including the Zune HD, Windows Phone, and the Xbox 360 -- a report by Electronista cites sources as saying it has since scaled back the effort, reducing the size of the Silverlight team.

Silverlight

While Silverlight may indeed get the ax (Microsoft even acknowledges that HTML5 is "the future"), its legacy will live on in certain increasingly popular web technologies, like the XAML pseudo-standard.

Comments Andrew Brust, a Microsoft Regional Director and founder of Blue Badge Insights in an interview with ZDNet, "It's pretty clear to me that the principles of Silverlight, including the use of XAML as a markup language, C# and VB .NET as programming languages, a streamlined .NET CLR (Common Language Runtime) profile, packaged deployment over HTTP and a sandboxed security environment, are alive and well in the native XAML/.NET approach to developing Metro-style apps on Windows 8. It may not be not Silverlight to the letter, but it's Silverlight in spirit and natively supported by the operating system to boot."

In other words, if Silverlight is about to die, it will live on its legacy.

Sources: Electronista, ZDNet



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Good
By Shadowmaster625 on 11/10/2011 8:22:18 AM , Rating: 0
A couple months ago I was trying to get netflix working on a windows xop machine. It said silverlight needed to be updated. So I download the latest version of silverlight. When I ran the installer, it brought up a box saying it couldnt find some stupid msi package. WTF Microsuck? I had to scour the web to find out how to get around their stupidity.




RE: Good
By Ringold on 11/10/2011 11:02:29 AM , Rating: 2
I can identify the main problem there: Windows XP. "Microsuck" if I'm not mistaken gave clear, advanced warning that support was ending and winding down.

If I were still using Win95, I might expect the occasional snag when installing the latest software as well.


RE: Good
By The Raven on 11/10/2011 12:44:49 PM , Rating: 1
Though you can (rightfully) scoff at his experience, I think MS should continue to support NEW software on even their oldest OS if people are still using it.
See:
http://www.dailytech.com/XP+Finally+Slips+Below+50...
http://www.dailytech.com/Windows+7+Passes+Windows+...
Depite the trend, that is still a lot of people to leave hanging with regards to something that you want adopted by said masses.

It really comes down to if you think they should support the software (Silverlight) that they want to push (even on old platforms) or just require people to buy and install new OSs so they can have the ability to do something as simple as watch Netflix on their PC. We aren't talking about DX11 or anything as involved or niche as that.


RE: Good
By AerieC on 11/11/2011 1:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
Truly spoken like someone who's never worked on a software project before.

A) Forever maintaining backwards compatibility hampers forward progress. You can't do X because it would break Y in the old software.

B) For that same reason, implementing backwards compatibility is a TON of work. For every feature you want to make backwards compatible, you have to do twice the design, coding, and testing, or more (i.e. design feature x for new system, design feature x to work the same way in old system. Build feature x in new system, build feature x to work the same way in old system. Test feature x in new system, test feature x in old system, etc.).

That means that every new software package that is 100% backwards compatible costs the company roughly twice as much to make.

C) If they continue to make everything backwards compatible, there is no reason for users to upgrade. IMO, Microsoft has been damn generous about making all of their FREE shit (internet explorer, silverlight, etc.) work with their old software for, like, 10 years. You have to draw the line somewhere.


RE: Good
By The Raven on 11/11/2011 6:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
How many people are going to buy Win7 just to use Silverlight (or DX11 for that matter)?

You obviously miss my point. I do not disagree with your particulars, but my point is that, sure, go ahead and draw the line and ~50% of your customer base will not adopt the new software you are putting out there (Silverlight).

So do you want to get your customers using Silverlight and make them happy, or do you want to essentially force them to toss their working copy of XP to buy Win7 and piss them off?
quote:
IMO, Microsoft has been damn generous about making all of their FREE s*** (internet explorer, silverlight, etc.) work with their old software for, like, 10 years.
It's not generous, it's smart business to keep people on the MS teat. Otherwise they will say, "Hmm...my computer doesn't work anymore...I need to get a new one guess I will try Apple since Vista allegedly sucks."

I am a big fan of the quality of MS's products for the most part and can attest to the stability of XP on many, many machines. There is really nothing wrong with XP and I don't see why I have to learn a new OS just because MS needs money again. I'd rather learn to go open source if they aren't going to support their OSs for at least 10 years.

It is the relatively "1337" people out there who benefit from the leap from XP to 7. For everyone else it is just a way for MS to piss them off.

You can't ignore the large market share that XP still holds. You act as if I am saying that MS should support Silverlight on the Apple ][.

I guess it is stupid of Google to support apps on the iPhone since Android is the newer and in their opinion better OS. No, iPhone has market share that any smart person would capitalize on.


RE: Good
By Black1969ta on 11/12/2011 3:18:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
B) For that same reason, implementing backwards compatibility is a TON of work. For every feature you want to make backwards compatible, you have to do twice the design, coding, and testing, or more (i.e. design feature x for new system, design feature x to work the same way in old system. Build feature x in new system, build feature x to work the same way in old system. Test feature x in new system, test feature x in old system, etc.).

Not to mention the bloat that backwards compatibility brings along.
that has always been one of the arguments for iOS without the support for old systems the codebase was much smaller and thus faster/more efficient


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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